Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Legalize marijuana in Washington state

    The Seattle Times editorial board supports the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana for Washington state adults
    Editorial
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Marijuana should be legalized, regulated, taxed and made available for sale to adults. Prohibition has failed. It fuels criminal gangs. It fills the prisons in America and graveyards in Mexico. To end marijuana prohibition at the federal level, several states need to defy federal authority. That is how the politics works. The Legislature will not do it, nor will Gov. Chris Gregoire. But the people of Washington can, through a ballot initiative.

  • Marijuana-initiative backers say state could lead change

    Washington state would be defying federal drug laws if an initiative filed Wednesday with the Secretary of State to legalize and regulate marijuana is adopted
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Washington state would be defying federal drug laws if an initiative filed Wednesday with the Secretary of State to legalize and regulate marijuana is adopted. But backers said Wednesday that states can take the lead in ending what they call the nation's failed war on drugs, much as individual states, including Washington, repealed Prohibition before the federal government.

  • Former U.S. attorney McKay backs effort to legalize pot in Washington

    The Seattle Times
    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    John McKayA coalition that includes former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel guide Rick Steves is launching an initiative that would legalize marijuana in Washington state. The New Approach Washington group, led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, decided to push the initiative this spring after Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a medical-marijuana bill that had passed the state Legislature.

  • The Drug War Is the Inevitable Result of Capitalism Gone Mad; Ciudad Juarez Is All of Our Futures

    Narco-cartels are not pastiches of global corporations, nor are they errant bastards of the global economy – they are pioneers of it
    Ed Vulliamy
    AlterNet (US web)
    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    juarezWar, as I came to report it, was something fought between people with causes, however crazy or honourable: like between the American and British occupiers of Iraq and the insurgents who opposed them. Then I stumbled across Mexico's drug war – which has claimed nearly 40,000 lives, mostly civilians – and all the rules changed. This is warfare for the 21st century, and another creature altogether.

  • The fiscal case for legalising marijuana

    It's a no-brainer: ending the 'war on drugs' would create jobs, cut law enforcement costs, raise revenue – and benefit patients
    Samantha McCann
    The Guardian (UK) - Web comment
    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Across the United States, people struggling with chronic illness increasingly are questioning US policy toward marijuana, a homeopathic substance that until 1937 was, for the most part, legal and regulated. Friday marks the 40th anniversary of the "war on drugs". And what do we have as a result?Hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in the midst of a fragile economy, the financial and social cost of imprisoning hundreds of thousands of offenders annually, and patients like Dolin who continue to suffer due to our failed policies.

  • Brazilian demonstrations call for legal marijuana

    AFP
    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    brazil-marchBrazilian demonstrators held marches on the weekend calling for marijuana to be legalized after the country's top court ruled the gatherings could go ahead in the name of freedom of speech. The demonstrations were held in 40 towns and cities late Saturday, according to Brazilian media.

  • Fear and loathing surrounds decriminalisation

    Exploring the "failing" drug war, from the Netherlands to Mexico and California to Connecticut
    Al Jazeera
    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    "The war on drugs has failed," said a recent report compiled by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which comprised a former UN secretary-general, former presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, a former US Secretary of State and a host of public intellectuals, human rights activists and politicians.

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  • Russia's punitive drug laws

    The Lancet (UK)
    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Life is especially difficult for the 6 million drug addicts living in Russia because methadone is banned, and they are reluctant to use the few available needle and syringe exchange programmes for fear of being exposed. New drug laws are being drawn up by the Russian Government in its “total war on drugs”. These will go against the evidence-based treatments endorsed by organisations such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UNAIDS, and WHO.

  • Raft of marijuana legislation highlights a murky regulatory climate

    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Friday, June 17, 2011

    California lawmakers are looking at a range of bills to expand, contract or change state marijuana laws. Legalization proponents say it reflects a political disconnect on an issue much of the public considers mainstream. Lawmakers took steps recently to ban pot shops from residential neighborhoods and give local governments the authority to shut down problem operators. They also rejected proposals to reduce penalties for illegal pot cultivation and protect medical marijuana patients from workplace discrimination.

  • Four Decades Later, It's Time to Scrap the Dead-End Drug War

    Tim Padgett
    Time Magazine (US)
    Friday, June 17, 2011

    I recently returned from the desert city of Durango, Mexico, where forensic officials are still trying to identify some 240 corpses discovered this year in mass graves. More than 200 other bodies have been found in similar fosas across northern Mexico. All were victims, many of them innocent victims, of the drug-trafficking violence whose barbarity seems bottomless. But it's fueled in large part by the just as endless American appetite for illegal drugs – which itself is due in no small part to the fact that our anti-drug policies are so narrow-mindedly focused on battling supply instead of reducing demand.

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